BROOKFIELD, Wis. – Stan's Fit For Your Feet and Jim Sajdak, the company’s President and CEO, have been named “The 2013 Retailer of the Year” by the National Shoe Retailers Association (NSRA). With three stores located in Greenfield, Brookfield and Glendale and two New Balance stores in Greater Milwaukee, Sajdak and Stan’s were recognized for excellence in a number of areas.
According to Rick Ravel, chairman of NSRA's Board of Directors, “This prestigious award is given out annually to only one shoe retailer in the United States and Canada. This year we are happy to honor Stan’s Fit For Your Feet because of its strength as a locally-owned family business, exceptional customer care, commitment to the community it serves and service to the shoe industry.”
NSRA president Chuck Schuyler added, “Jim Sajdak truly believes that the biggest returns come from giving of one's time, energy and heart to others. He has demonstrated that belief in many ways over several decades, and it's a real pleasure to recognize him on behalf of his many colleagues and friends within NSRA.”
Stan’s was founded in 1950 by Stan Sajdak, who grew up watching his father pursue a livelihood as a tanner and shoemaker. Stan’s son, Jim, joined the company in 1973 and was named President and CEO in 1989. Under his leadership, Stan's Fit for Your Feet expanded from one store to its current three locations. Today, the company also runs New Balance stores in Brookfield and Greenfield. In addition, Jim Sajdak’s adult children—Andrew, David, Megan and Ben—have chosen careers in the family business and play an important role in the management of Stan’s and New Balance store operations. All four, as well as their mother, Susan, were on hand for the award presentation, during which Susan remarked, “It’s a testament to who you are as a father and businessman that all our kids have decided to work in the business with you.”
Exceptional Customer Care
From its opening day, Stan’s has been committed to providing outstanding customer service.
According to Jim Sajdak, “My father used to say, ‘It doesn’t matter how good, how fancy, how expensive your shoes are. If they don’t fit right, they’re useless.’ That’s why every time a customer comes in to one of our stores, a Fit Specialist will measure both of their feet to ensure they purchase proper fitting shoes that look great, too!”
Fitting shoes is so important to Stan’s and New Balance that Jim Sajdak, all of his children and two of Stan’s Fit Specialist have become Certified Pedorthists through the American Boards for Certification in Orthotics Prosthetics and Pedorthics. As Certified Pedorthists, they are able to fit, fabricate and adjust therapeutic shoes or orthotics prescribed for therapeutic purposes. All Stan’s and New Balance sales representatives partake in ongoing education to bring the best care and information to customers. The entire staff is dedicated to providing quality fashionable footwear that looks and feels good.
“Shoes are our business, so we have made understanding how the foot works a priority,” says Jim Sajdak. “How a shoe fits can greatly impact a person’s posture, comfort level and daily performance. It needs to be taken seriously.”
Committed to Greater Milwaukee
Over the years Stan’s has also made giving back to the community a priority. The company’s Share-A-Pair Shoe Drive, now in its seventh year, has collected more than 140,000 pairs of new and gently used shoes and distributed them to people in need through Father Gene's Help Center in West Allis, Repairers of the Breach Homeless Day Shelter in Milwaukee and Soles4Souls, a global not-for-profit organization.
Stan’s is also involved in many local runs and walks, including Komen’s Race for the Cure, Girls on the Run and Brigg's & Al's Run/Walk for Children's Hospital of Wisconsin. Each fall, Stan’s donates a portion of its back-to-school sales to Children’s Hospital to fund supplies for its internal school. All Stan’s and New Balance Milwaukee stores collect food for Second Harvest Food Bank.
Because of Stan’s generosity and commitment to the community, Jim Sajdak and Stan’s have also won NSRA's Al Singer Award, which rewards innovation, creativity and perseverance in retailing, while the New Balance Milwaukee stores have been honored with New Balance’s Riley Award, which recognizes stores for both an outstanding in-store experience and active participation in the communities they serve.
Advancing the Shoe Industry
Over his 42-year career, Jim has served in various leadership roles within the shoe industry. He was elected to the NSRA Board of Directors in 1995 and served the Association as a conference speaker/panelist, an Education Committee member and head of several committees before being elected Chairman of the Board in 2001. His most noteworthy accomplishment, however, came in 2009 when he headed NSRA's NextGen initiative. This program works in partnership with the Family Business Center at Chicago's Loyola University to train NSRA members to manage the complexities involved in bringing new generations into a family-run business. All of Jim’s children participate in NextGen and are passionate about carrying Stan’s and New Balance’s identity as a thriving local, family-owned business into the future.
Stan’s Fit For Your Feet’s Brookfield location is in The Plaza at 17155 W. Bluemound Road. Its Greenfield store is in the Layton Plaza at 7405 W. Layton Ave, and the Glendale location is at 505 W. Silver Spring Drive, across from the Bayshore Town Center. Each store is open Monday through Friday from 9:30 a.m. to 9 p.m., Saturdays from 9:30 a.m. to 5:30 p.m. and Sundays from Noon to 5 p.m. The company’s New Balance Stores are located in Brookfield at 17155 W. Bluemound Road, Suite A and in Greenfield at 7411 W. Layton Ave. They operate during the same business hours as Stan’s Fit For Your Feet. For more information please visit www.StansFootwear.com or www.NewBalanceMKE.com.
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